Friday, April 28, 2017

Pocket Book Reviews {April 2017}

Who else is so happy that it's warm because now they can read outside?! I love grabbing a book and reading outside a Starbucks with a delicious iced peach green tea! It's such a great way to relax on the weekends. Where's your favorite place to read in the spring and summer?

(4 hearts)

Written by Marissa Meyer; Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. She wants to open her own bakery, but her mother wants her to be queen. But at a royal ball Cath meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Now this is a dark, intense version of Wonderland! I really enjoyed following Cath's story from naive baker to the cold-hearted queen we all know from Alice in Wonderland. She starts off as a nice girl with big dreams of opening a bakery, but of course things never go according to plan, and slowly her kindness begins to shed, especially towards the end.

Her secret romance with Jest was so sweet and despite guessing how it would end I rooted for them nonetheless. Jest is an interesting character; he was charming and fun and had a lot of tricks up his sleeve...literally!

This version of Wonderland was intriguing: certainly not as whimsical, but still full of wonder. I liked how Cath's dreams manifest trees and flowers, how like from the original tale some foods and drinks could change your size and you had to be wary, that animals and plants could talk, and that Time was a real person.

The reason I took a point away and didn't give it a full 5 stars was because I didn't feel as connected to Cath as I would've liked. I found her interesting and I was rooting for her, but I found many of the other characters more three-dimensional than her. And I think I'm also a little sad at how Hatter was portrayed in this. He's not the fun and silly person we all love; he's a much crueler version.

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The Fill-In Boyfriend
(4 hearts)

Written by Kasie West; When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

You wouldn't think a YA romance could be deep, but this one is at times. Most of the time it's fun and charming and undeniably cute, but it also delves into self-doubt, lying to yourself and others, and pretending everything is okay when it isn't. Gia is the every girl. She's a good student, a good daughter, a good friend, and a good girlfriend. What I liked about this book in particular is that it shows that just being good to the people you're closest to isn't enough sometimes. Gia never really lets her friends and family get close to her and it harms her relationships. And it's the guy that fills in for her boyfriend and his sister that make Gia open up.

More so than Gia, I loved fill-in boy's sister Bec. She wears all black all the time, she's true to herself, she's tough on the outside but a teddy bear on the inside, and she's snarky. She was my favorite character hands down. At times the drama and the dialogue in this book were dumb, and yet I still really enjoyed this book.

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(5 hearts)

Written by Julie Murphy; Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked until Will takes a job at Harpy’s and meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant. 

OMG! I don't think I can love a book any more than I love this one! Talk about a perfect contemporary read; it's full of sass, friendships, first love, hurt, harsh words, family, and lots of love!

Willowdean is my new favorite character! She's everything I wish I'd been in high school: she's sassy and confident, she stands up for people, she encourages her friends, and yet she's also a realistic and flawed person because she's bad at communicating, she's stubborn, and at times she's judgy. She really comes alive when reading this story.

This book is the perfect amount of awesome and entertaining story with a little bit of a morale-booster thrown in! Willowdean's words of encouragement to herself (and the person reading) are a delight and made me smile. Like how to wear a bathing suit: Have a body. Put a bathing suit on it.

And the part with the cross-dressing Dolly Parton's was amazing! I need more Willowdean, all of these characters, more pageant fun, and more of this little Texas town!

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Anne of Green Gables
(5 hearts)

Written by L.M. Montgomery; The spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.

Why didn't I read this book sooner?! Anne of Greem Gables and Anne herself are a delight! She's firstly, stubborn, talkative, imaginative, compassionate, intelligent, and just downright amazing. I love how creative she is and renames beautiful things in nature to suit her, like the Lake of Shining Waters. Despite the misfortunes of her past, she rises above them and is a strong-willed and kind person who's always willing to help others, even though sometimes it doesn't turn out how she was expecting. All of the characters are so real and go through real problems that anyone could relate to.

You can now call me an Anne of a Green Gables fan! And I'm definitely going to continue reading the books!

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What If?: Serious Scientific Answers To Absurd Hypothetical Questions
(4 hearts)

Written by Randall Munroe; Randall Munroe left NASA in 2005 to start up his popular site XKCD. Every now and then, Munroe would get emails asking him to arbitrate a science debate. He liked these questions so much that he started up What If in order to answer them.

I'm not that big of a science nerd, but I do like knowing lots of useless, random information, so I found this book fantastic! Plus, the hypothetical situations were intriguing and made me really want to know how or if it could be done and what the consequences would be.

All of answers are scientific and yet easy to understand for the layperson and also pretty funny. I found myself cracking up a lot while listening to this. I think it helps that Wil Wheaton read this; his voice just lends itself to weird science humor.

I would totally recommend this!

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What did you read this month?

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Have a lovely day!
~Sara ♥

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